Tag Archives | preserves in action

All-Clad NS1 Nonstick Induction Stock Pot + Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

Finished Tomato Soup - Food in Jars

Back in the Fall, I did a little project with the folks at All-Clad, in which they sent me the NS1 Chef’s Pan from their their new line of NS1 Nonstick Induction cookware and I used it to make a batch of really delicious (and totally vegan, to boot) batch of Kabocha Squash, Coconut, and Wild Rice Stew.

It was a fun project, because it made think outside of my normal patterns, and I got to play with a really fabulous pan (that Chef’s Pan has become my go-to for batches of homemade fried rice. It’s a dream). So, when they got in touch again back in early February and asked if I might want to do it again, this time with their NS1 Stock Pot, I said sure.

All-Clad Stock Pot top - Food in Jars

Just to refresh our memories, this line of All-Clad is made from anodized aluminum, has a sturdy three-layer PFOA-free nonstick interior, and is induction-compatible thanks to steel base that also helps prevent warping. The stock pot has relatively narrow base and tall sides, which makes it ideal for making stock, soup, simmering beans, or even poaching whole chickens (something people just don’t do enough).

You could even drop a blossom trivet in the bottom and use it as a medium-sized canning pot. Currently, the NS1 Nonstick Induction line is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma and this stock pot sells for $179.95.

All-Clad Stock Pot - Food in Jars

I’ve had this pot in my kitchen for about three weeks now and have come to appreciate its form and function a great deal. Every other stock pot I own holds 12 quarts or more, which means that when I make stock, I can’t help but make a lot (I know I could fill up the pot less, but that just never seems to happen).

tomatoes for roasting - Food in Jars

Having a sturdy stock pot that holds a third less that my other pots means that I end up making a more reasonable volume of stock, which is nice. The high sides do an excellent job of preventing excessive evaporation. And the durable non-stick surface makes for really easy clean-up. This particular pot has become a piece of cookware that I didn’t know I needed, but am now very grateful to have!

Roasted Tomatoes - Food in Jars

In choosing a recipe to devise in this pot, I turned to my pantry. There was a moment when I considered making a big batch of brothy white beans, flavored with rosemary and parmesan rind. Then I considered doing a pasta and potato concoction, a la Rachel Roddy. Finally, I settled on a big pot of roasted tomato and basil soup.

Cooking Tomato Soup - Food in Jars

I’ve been making variations on this soup for years now, always using Ina Garten’s recipe as a starting place. However, it’s become a particular favorite in recent years because it makes good use of two of my favorite tomato preserves — these slow roasted tomatoes and my whole peeled canned tomatoes.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup - Food in Jars

I know that it’s traditional to serve tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, but I tend to prefer an open-face sandwich and so opt for cheesy toast instead. However you serve it, it’s delicious!

Disclosure: All-Clad sent me the pan you see pictured above at no cost to me. No additional compensation was provided.

For more about these fabulous pans, follow All-Clad and Williams-Sonoma on social media!
All-Clad: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Williams-Sonoma: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Applesauce Loaf

applesauce loaf top - Food in Jars

Since the start of the new year, I’ve fallen into a habit of making a slightly sweet loaf of quick bread at the start of the week. At first, the goal was simply to have something to help us wean ourselves off all the holiday treats without going cold turkey. But a few weeks in, I’m finding that having a relatively virtuous homemade treat in the kitchen is actually helping us eat better.

applesauce loaf side - Food in Jars

I realize it sounds a little nutty, but knowing that there’s a loaf of applesauce bread or a simple yogurt cake at home has kept me from a number of impulse treat purchases. I know that anything I bake at home is going to contain better ingredients and be lower in sugar than anything I can buy, and that gives me the power to hold out.

This week, I made a loaf based on this recipe from Martha Rose Shulman (she is one of my favorite food writers). It’s a quick one and needs just two mixing bowls and a few utensils to pull together. I used coconut sugar instead of the turbinado that she recommends and it works beautifully. I like a slice in the late afternoon with some tea, or toasted and buttered in the evening. My variation of the recipe is below.

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My Approach to Weekly Meal Planning

January 3-9 Meal Plan

One of my personal goals for 2016 is to make a weekly meal plan and stick to it most of the time (planning is nothing without follow-through). This is something I’ve done in fits and starts for years now. On the weeks when I do it, everything seems to run more smoothly. Sadly, as soon as life gets busy, it has also been one of the first things to go. And once the meal plan habit goes out of the window, I find myself awash in food waste, too much takeout, and a faltering kitchen ecosystem. Madness ensues.

However, I find that if I can make a rough plan, every other aspect of life feels a bit less unwieldy. Even if the plan is simply a store bought roast chicken and steamed broccoli and then a pot of soup large enough to last three nights, it helps keep the chaos in check. And thus, this commitment to myself to plot out dinners a week at a time, shop for them, and then cook what I’ve planned.

January 10-16 Meal Plan

My goal here is not to offer you a formula for your own meal planning. There’s plenty of that out there on Pinterest and countless other blogs. Instead, I’m giving you a peek into my thought process in the hopes that it might help spur your own. And so, here are the things I keep in mind to keep my aspirations in check and ensure that the plan is useful and realistic.

  • What season are we in? Is something available right now that might be gone by next week?
  • Do we have things in the fridge, freezer or pantry that need to be used up?
  • Is it a busy week? Am I teaching any night classes? Should I plan for voluminous leftovers for easy reheating?
  • Did I spot anything in the last week that I particularly want to make or try? Is there a cookbook that’s been particularly inspiring of late?
  • Am I working on anything that requires recipe testing that could be dinner?

Typically, a glance at my calendar, a trip through these questions, and quick consultation with Scott is enough to have a rough plan on paper. However, some weeks, I still remain stumped. When that happens, I pull out the big guns and consult my Things I Like to Make for Dinner list. For years, this list lived in my head, but last year, I finally typed it up and published it on my ancient personal blog so that I’d have easy access to it. Reading it through always helps.

Finally, once the plan is drafted, I write it on our chalkboard wall. Having it posted in the kitchen helps keep me honest and keeps Scott in the loop. I also post pictures of the meal plan to Instagram and from here on out, will occasionally share some of the recipes here (particularly if they put preserves to good use).

Now, here’s a question for you guys. Do you meal plan? And if you do, do you have a system? I’d love to hear about your thought process.

 

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Preserves in Action: Black-eyed Pea, Tuna, and Pickle Salad

finished salad on marble - Food in Jars

Most days, my lunch is not particularly photo-worthy (despite the evidence presented on Instagram). Most of the time, I eat whatever leftover is closest to the front of the fridge and hasn’t been earmarked for that evening’s meal (at least once a week, I make dinner with the intention that it will last two nights). Occasionally though, I’m inspired to make something a little more elegant than reheated quinoa and roast vegetables.

salad pickles - Food in Jars

This salad was born on one of those days when there happened to be a dearth of leftovers AND I felt moved to use what I had rather than run across the street for take-out. A true alignment of the stars! It was a quick thing, made up of a can of tuna, another one of black-eyes peas, several generous spoonfuls of pickled chard stems, a chopped celery rib (with the leaves), and a liberal application of salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Safe Catch Tuna - Food in Jars

What made the salad special was the ease with which it came together and the fact that the ingredients were so good. I used a can of Safe Catch Tuna that landed in my mailbox some months ago, and it was some of the best canned tuna I’ve ever eaten. It was chunky and flavorful, and had the added benefit of being line caught and tested for mercury levels.

tuna and black eyed pea salad - Food in Jars

The pickles also made it particularly good. I used some of these chard stem pickles, but if you have any of my salad pickles tucked away in a cabinet, they’d also be a good choice. Save either of those, if you are willing to do a bit of dicing, my open jar of pickles you have in the fridge will work. Make sure to tip a generous glug of the brine into the salad for added zip.

finished salad - Food in Jars

The finished salad made enough for two days of lunching and I’ve stocked my pantry so I can make another bowlful soon.

How are you putting your preserves to work these days?

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Preserves in Action: Honey Mustard Chicken

homemade garlic maple mustard

There is a recipe for a maple and roasted garlic mustard in my next book that I made three times before I got it right. The final result is a great condiment, but all that testing left me with a veritable bounty of mustard to use up. I’ve been plugging away at it, making salad dressings and decanting it into smaller jars to give to friends.

honey mustard for chcken

One of my favorite uses for this mustard is a super simple marinate for chicken. I use a wide mouth half pint jar as both a measurement device and a mixing bowl. I use about a 1/2 cup of the mustard (filling the jar about half full) and then pour in 2-3 tablespoons of honey.

chicken with honey mustard

I stir it the two together until they seem mostly integrated. Sometime before I started making the honey mustard, I pulled an appropriately sized baking dish out and set the oven to 375 degrees F. Once the sauce is ready, it’s just a matter of arranging the chicken in the pan, rubbing the sauce into the chicken, washing your hands, and then applying an even dusting of salt and pepper.

honey mustard chicken

Baked until the skin browns and bubbles and the meat is cooked through, it makes a delicious dinner that reminds me of the food my mom used to cook when I was growing up. I serve it with whatever vegetable I can pull together and call it good. In the summer, it’s particularly good with corn on the cob and sliced cucumbers.

How are you using up your preserves these days?

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Preserves in Action: Grain Bowl with Chutney

Today's take on the soft boiled egg lunch. This time, with whole wheat couscous, chopped arugula, and plum chutney.

The classic grain bowl is a dead easy way to start moving your chutney from the jar to the plate (or bowl, as the case may be). In the picture above, I  used whole wheat couscous, which I do realize is not truly a grain. But this idea works equally well with bulgar, farro, or quinoa (a pseudo-cereal), so I’m grouping it all under the grain heading for ease.

I toss the warm grain of the day with some chopped arugula or spinach, top it with a couple of soft boiled eggs (I am partial to the six minute egg), and lay down a generous spoonful of chutney along the side. If you’ve got a container of pre-cooked grain in the fridge (or portions in the freezer), it takes nearly no time.

As I eat this quick little bowl, I make sure to get a little chutney into each bite of the egg, grain, and green for maximum deliciousness. I’ve eaten versions of this meal with plum chutney (that’s what you see above), as well as rhubarb, apple, and pear. Each variation has been different and wonderful. Best of all, it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so it’s a good one to have your mental arsenal for days when you need fast sustenance no matter the time of day.

How are you using your preserves this week?

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